Are you loving your yoga diet as much as your yoga practice? Are you wishing there was a way to increase your flexibility, improve your focus, and enjoy other benefits on and off the mat? Here is a selection of ten foods to add to your yoga diet that will give you these benefits by increasing your fiber, protein and bone health – and are simple to integrate into your eating routine.
Chia is a powerhouse of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, magnesium and more calcium than a glass of milk! In yoga body terms what this means is decreased inflammation of hardworking muscles, controlled bowel function, stronger bones and a more healthy heart. When wet they get a gelatinous, slimy texture that requires thorough blending but supports pulling waste through the digestive system.
Besides the abundance of vitamins – which includes B12 for healthy red blood cells and nervous system – yogurt maintains good digestion and supports strong bones with its high calcium content. Yogurt protein as well promotes water absorption and regulates sodium in our bodies – a great way of staying hydrated in today’s sodium-craving world.
Abundant in minerals and vitamins and filled with healthy fats, avocados helps the absorption of nutrients in the other foods we consume. They keep your heart and brain working effectively, promote blood circulation and control blood pressure; they also help in digestion and prevent cancer, while also boosting anti-inflammatory and anti-aging qualities.
You can consider oats a staple of your yoga diet. They are loaded with fiber and protein, as well as manganese which are important in strong bone formation. The fiber in oats fills you up, keeping you satiated for a longer time and helps in digestion by practically scraping the sides of your intestines, bringing food along with it and eliminating it.
A succulent treat that is the only natural source of an important ‘clean-up’ enzyme that digests dead protein cells caused by injury or tears during the muscle-building process. This enzyme helps relieve muscle soreness. This amazing addition to your yoga diet is a great source of vitamin C and manganese, supporting iron absorption and strong bones.
The complex carbs in this fruit are perfect for lasting energy, their potassium likewise reduce muscle cramps by promoting proper contraction and relaxation. This is very important for yoga practice because our increased energy can occasionally push us a bit far and a quick banana gives us the boost we need to make it.
A serving of kale is a calcium goldmine, includes more iron than a similar-sized serving of red meat, and provides an ample amount of vitamin K. Kale is in addition packed with fiber, so is going to go a long way in regulating digestion, while the calcium promotes a strong spine and skeleton.
One of the most protein-rich foods we can add to our diet; it is a full protein, which suggests it contains all nine essential amino acids. Extremely high in fiber and iron, quinoa is ideal for our digestion and blood circulation.
Almonds boost bone health, immune system function, have anti-inflammatory properties, control blood pressure, improve digestion, avert cancer and increase energy. These are all important features we want for a healthy yoga food – and the benefits are so numerous that you will want to make them a regular addition to your yoga diet.
Cacao or Dark Chocolate
Cacao or dark chocolate is an excellent guilt-free choice to include into your routine– ideally cacao nibs or powder, or look for a 60% or higher dark chocolate bar. Dark chocolate maintains blood sugar levels normal while increasing blood flow to the brain. A little nibble before class can boost energy and concentration because it is made up of the neurotransmitter responsible for releasing endorphins. It also has a little natural caffeine, enough to provide you with a little boost without adding jitters to the mix.
Making a plan to keep these foods stocked in your fridge and pantry will enhance your yoga practice, and ensure a healthy yoga diet going forward into 2018!